Bill Belichick hates living in the past. He may not show it, but he is one of the most competitive people in football. There’s a reason why the new England Patriots are always competitive, regardless of who’s on the field and the opponent they face. After a losing season and watching Tom Brady win the Super Bowl, it makes sense why we have seen so many Patriots moves in NFL Free Agency. But could they also be a destination for a Deshaun Watson trade?
New England’s Dilemma at QB
Cam Newton was less than stellar in 2020, and his young backup, Jarett Stidham, didn’t receive much action. Both are not the future under center for New England, and Belichick can only do so much with the defense and special teams. Time is ticking for the 68-year-old coach, and so is the time before superstar quarterback Deshaun Watson is traded.
In a loaded AFC, with Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and many more young stars, the Patriots are quite late to the party. Sure, they’ve got weapons for Cam, but what’s the use if he’s finished as a starting-level QB? The money in Newton’s new contract is backup money, and it’s a sign that he’s not guaranteed a starting job. It only makes sense to make a trade for Deshaun Watson.
New England’s Ties With Houston
Both sides need to pull a few strings to get a deal through, so what are the signs both teams want this done? The rumors, roster moves and front-office connections make it all the more clear.
Nick Caserio is the general manager of the Houston Texans. Many are aware he was a scout and executive for the New England Patriots for nearly 20 years. Caserio has only been the general manager for two months now, yet he’s completed two trades with New England already. The Patriots sent two players, Marcus Cannon and Ryan Izzo, to the Texans in exchange for some late-round picks. The trades were mainly for cap-relief, but it shows that Caserio picks up the phone frequently with Belichick in New England.
The Patriots still have roughly $11 million in cap room, something the other teams who want Deshaun Watson lack. The trade would likely include All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore going to the Texans, freeing up another chunk of money in order to absorb Watson’s considerably large contract. New England may have the best cap situation to bring in Watson.
Included with Gilmore, the Patriots can safely give up heavy draft capital. Watson makes New England an instant contender, meaning the first-round picks will be late, something the team hasn’t even used effectively in a decade. Bill Belichick has not drafted a Pro Bowl player in the first or second round of the draft since 2013, where they selected Jamie Collins. As good as he is as a coach, Belichick is not that great at choosing early-round talent. Send the picks to Houston.
When Will the Deshaun Watson Trade Happen?
The Texans front office and Deshaun Watson are ready to play hardball for the foreseeable future regarding the Deshaun Watson trade request, but in reality, this will be long overdue. No matter if it’s this week, next week or the week before the season starts, he needs to be traded.
John McClain has been covering the Texans for more than four decades and is familiar with the organization inside-out. When someone that close with the situation delivers the expectation that this trade is going down, it’s all but a done-deal.
Bill Belichick only has a few years left of productive coaching. He’s tired of being forgotten about, as Tom Brady wins Super Bowls and other teams get their quarterbacks of the future. Bill needs Deshaun Watson as much as Watson needs the first flight out of Houston. The connections are there; it’s up to Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick to make this dream a reality in New England.